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fig.: The image shows parts of the 360° video-sound installation 'Directions 2005/2013' by Mohammed Kazem (born 1969), exhibition 'Walking on Water' at the National Pavilion of the United Arab Emirates during La Biennale di Venezia (1 June - 24 November 2013); photo captured on the press day on 30 May 2013 at the Arsenale, Sale d'Armi.

'Biennale Venice 2013' series by Karin Sawetz,
publisher Fashionoffice
Insights into La Biennale di Venezia 2013

Issue 1: Introduction
Issue 2: Il Palazzo Enciclopedico

Issue 3: Walking on Water
Issue 4: A Pilsener space capsule?
Issue 5: The spiciest installation!
Issue 6: The perfect body?
Issue 7: A billionaire and a textile designer
Issue 8: Hairstyles

Walking on Water the title of the exhibition at the Pavilion of the United Arab Emirates at the Arsenale, Sale d'Armi in Venice. 'Walking on Water' shows the installation from the 'Directions' series by Emirati artist Mohammed Kazem; a series which was started by the artist caused by an experience Kazem once made when he fell from a fishing boat and was lost for over half an hour in the sea.

The first impression by entering the room is the ambivalence of openness (freedom) and lostness (anxiety); but then there is this digital 'anchor' on the ground which provides a feeling of security.

It seems as if Mohammed Kazem has integrated two plotlines (one is spiritual, the other rational) into the 360° video installation 'Directions 2005/2013' which throws the visitor into the infinite see - far away from any land; on the ship-deck alike installation, the GPS which locates the position.

The first plotline could be interpreted as 'spiritual'. It is depicted with the video-sound 360° installation of the infinite sea as representative of the spiritual perception of openness and universality; a space where ideas have no borders.

I find in the artist's work a second plotline which is derived from rational experiences. It is represented by the digital geographical positioning system. (Kazem experiments with GPS since he fell from the boat.) The GPS is a metaphor for locating oneself in our world which implies that borders can be crossed physically without loosing oneself.

Curator Reem Fadda explains her selection of Mohammed Kazem's work: "Borders are imminent realities in our current 'global' age. Despite progress and acts of modernization, our world remains hindered with the ideas of boundaries and restrictions. Openness remains one of the phantasmal and illusive ideas of our times."

Video: Walk-through the exhibition 'Walking On Water' showing the 360° video-sound installation 'Directions 2005/2013' by Mohammed Kazem at the UAE Pavilion during Venice Biennale 2013.


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